Boston has disavowed Allen, branded him a traitor and sworn to move on. In interviews, Rajon Rondo has referred to Allen as “that guy” and “No. 20″ while Kevin Garnett has deadpanned that he no longer has Allen’s phone number. On Friday, Celtics coach Doc Rivers intimated in a radio interview that Allen didn’t put the team first last season. When asked why Allen defected to Miami, Rivers said, “I think it was ego more than anything else.”
After more than a year of contract and trade speculation that saw the storyline grow nauseatingly stale, the Dwight Howard Reality Show had a groundbreaking plot twist late last night when the wishy-washy center went to Los Angeles as the cornerstone of a four-team trade between the Lakers, Magic, 76ers, and Nuggets. By joining forces with Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, and Metta World Peace in LA while simultaneously opting against signing a contract extension, Howard has ensured that his soap opera will continue to annoy sports fans on ESPN and the Internet for at least another year.
LeBron James deserved and took all the grief in the world for The Decision but at least he decided something. Dwight Howard voluntarily opted into a one-year contract extension with Orlando, quit on his team had season-ending back surgery, and then demanded a trade.
With so many moving parts that significantly impact the teams involved as well as the contenders in both conferences, we are left with several burning questions, most of which will not be resolved until next year’s Playoffs while some will take years to effectively evaluate. This of course will not stop me (in conjunction with ESPN and the rest of the Internet) from trying to answer them right now:
Yesterday, Miami Heat owner Mickey Arison went on the Dan LeBatard show and had some pretty interesting things to say about the team’s season. (Find the full conversation on iTunes–it’s the one from 6-25 labeled with James Jones and Ozzie Guillen as guests–at about the 35-minute mark.)
LeBatard and Arison discussed the financial status of the Heat organization:
LeBatard: [Earlier], you corrected me on saying that you were running a business. Was that correction because, basically, the Miami Heat haven’t made enough money the last 20 years and this is the first time they’ve turned a profit in the last couple?
Arison: We have lost money every year except the first year LeBron was here and we have lost hundreds of millions of dollars since we built American Airlines Arena. I don’t know if we’ll make money this year or not until all the numbers come in. Obviously, having a playoff run including a seven-game series helps a lot but with the new luxury tax–the new revenue sharing–I think we’ll be lucky to break even but I don’t think we will break even.
LeBatard: Can you explain that to somebody who doesn’t understand, Mickey? Because that doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. I don’t understand how that can possibly be–where you have the most successful basketball team in the world and you can’t make money.
Arison: It’s the system. It’t the market. Just to give you a sense of numbers–and this is just ballpark, right?–my guess annually 20 million dollars for my TV rights. Teams like the Knicks, or Chicago, or LA will get between 75 and 150. My gate could be a million, a million-1, a million-2. Madison Square Garden is 2.5 million. And guess what? My salaries are the same as those guys. If you’re New York, Chicago, or LA, it’s a business. Anywhere else in the country, it’s a hobby.